Sunday, April 3, 2011

What has happened to The Recessionista Blog on Blogspot? Blogger Locked It!

Some of you have been Tweeting me and leaving comments on my Facebook page to ask, where is The Recessionista Blog? Well, the thoughtful folks at Blogger have locked it up without any notice or warning. Three years of hard work and intellectual property just disappeared.  Puff!  My heart is still not beating regularly. I learned about this disaster from my readers via Twitter late Friday night, coincidentally April Fool's day.  Naturally, I thought maybe this was some cruel joke.  But it's no joke.  If you click on therecessionista.blogspot.com, you'll get a lovely message from Blogger telling you that the blog has been deleted. Nice huh?   This is a cautionary tale to be sure.

In the last three years, I've been a loyal user of Blogger and resisted going to Wordpress or Tumblr where many fashion bloggers have found good homes.   During the time I was on Blogger, The Recessionista was featured in the New York Times, The Huffington PostReuters, Life & Style Magazine, and on TV via NBC news and ABC news (both National & Local.) If I was working in PR at Blogger, I would hold that type of success up as case study  reasons that bloggers can succeed using Blogspot/Blogger.  And isn't that the dream of every blogger? To be read and find an audience. Unfortunately, the robots at Blogger who monitor the blogs don't read the press or watch the news.  In their infinite wisdom (or lack thereof), they determined that The Recessionista might be spam and decided to take it down.  Here's the note I got on my Blogger Dashboard after I tried unsuccessfully to restore the blog:

"Blogger's spam-prevention robots have detected that your blog has characteristics of a spam blog.  Since you're an actual person reading this, your blog is probably not a spam blog. Automated spam detection is inherently fuzzy, and we sincerely apologize for this false positive. We received your unlock request. On behalf of the robots, we apologize for locking your non-spam blog. Please be patient while we take a look at your blog and verify that it is not spam."

Nice huh? Those robots really have good manners and are very conscious of Intellectual Property rights.  Not. Despite my emails and Twitter messages to individuals at Blogger, there has been no  response.  Oh, I did get a response via a Blogger help forum, from someone called "The Katney"  that it could take up to 2 days to restore the blog, which is so very comforting, not to mention sympathetic.

So what's next for The Recessionista? I will get my content back if I have to engage legal counsel.  Then the blog will move off of BlogSpot and find another home.  If the folks at Blogger  think that a blog that has won awards and has been featured in the worldwide press is spam, then why stay with them?  Apparently, they don't want a successful, highly trafficked blog that generates revenue for Google via AdSense, or they just don't care to look beyond their robots.  This is the second time Blogger robots have locked The Recessionista--the first time was after the Blog was in the New York Times.  Nice way to help a blogger build audience right?

Maybe someone at Blogger will read this who is not a robot.  That is my hope. Put this right, and I'll go on my way to another home, and your robots can have at it. Meantime, Bloggers reading this back-up your content ASAP and think about ways to protect your work.  That's the morale of this story. The Blogger help forums are full of legitimate bloggers complaining about their blogs being locked.  Meantime, many of the "splogs" (spam blogs) that take my posts from The Recessionista and paste them on their blogs are still up and running.  Go figure.

8 comments:

  1. I am so sorry about what happened. I think it's time for you to find a new platform. It's better to rebuild now than go through this in another two years. You can do it!

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  2. Agreed, just want my content, and I will rebuild, as you did! :)

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  3. Mary, Obviously they will eventually unlock it. "We received your unlock request. On behalf of the robots, we apologize for locking your non-spam blog. Please be patient while we take a look at your blog and verify that it is not spam."

    It sounds like you have been hacked. If you don't clean up the hack, google will see it as a spam site too. You should be able to check this with Google Webmaster tools.

    Being angry with Blogger isn't going to make this situation better. The same thing happens on other big platforms like Twitter and Facebook, they can't possible have a big enough customer service team to immediately attend to every issue.

    Yes Wordpress.org is better than blogger but also needs attention to securing your site against hacking.

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  4. Reading that again - I neglected to say I certainly sympathize with your pain. It is a terrifying experience. Hope my information helped.

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  5. Thanks Linda for the comments & helpful advice. I'm not sure about Hacking. Chic Bargainista was quickly restored via verification from my mobile phone. I'll check Google webmaster tools, not sure what they tell you about a hack..but I'll look.

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  6. Here is what Safe Diagnostics says when I run a check for malware:

    Safe Browsing
    Diagnostic page for www.therecessionista.blogspot.com

    What is the current listing status for www.therecessionista.blogspot.com?

    This site is not currently listed as suspicious.

    What happened when Google visited this site?

    Google has not visited this site within the past 90 days.

    Has this site acted as an intermediary resulting in further distribution of malware?

    Over the past 90 days, www.therecessionista.blogspot.com did not appear to function as an intermediary for the infection of any sites.

    Has this site hosted malware?

    No, this site has not hosted malicious software over the past 90 days.

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  7. Hey folks. I work on Blogger, and wanted to apologize for the temporary delay in restoring the recessionista. it's back now after our team reviewed it.

    We are constantly working to improve our spam algorithms, but the truth is that it is not a perfect science. If anything like this ever happens again (it shouldn't!), anyone is free to bug me directly on Twitter and I'll look into it personally.

    We really hope you continue to use Blogger.

    -brett
    @electrobutter on twitter

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  8. Miss Hall - What a disaster! I'm confident you will soon have your babay back. What a nightmare. In the meantime you should shop - and Hautelook has a huge sale beginning today! Go see Babakul there... talk to you later. Hang in there, fingers crossed for you.
    xoxo Miss Read

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